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Saturday, December 16, 2006

BALCO, perjury, and Marion Jones

There's been some recent news in the BALCO trials; Thursday, cyclist Tammy Thomas (right) was indicted on perjury charges. Yep, that's a woman. You think she might have used steroids?

Also, recently Marion Jones said she's undecided about her future (read: she's thinking about retiring). T&FN message board maven EPelle notes the timing, and wonders if anything is going on:
Her [EPO-positive] "A"-sample was released just after Gatlin's camp went public of his testosterone positive. ...The cyclist gets indicted during BALCO/Phase III (it is in this phase according to authorities) for lying to the Grand Jury in BALCO/Phase I in stating she had never used PED's and/or that she did not get illegal drugs from Patrick Arnold. Marion Jones nearly simultanously states she is unsure what direction she will head in 2007.
Another post by EPelle, quoting the San Jose Mercury-News:
Another possible target for perjury is Marion Jones, an Olympic gold-medal sprinter who also testified in 2003. If she denied using performance-enhancing drugs, Jones might have a problem because her ex-husband, C.J. Hunter, said under oath that he gave the sprinter banned drugs and saw Jones inject herself.

At least two other grand jury witnesses who worked with her former coach, Trevor Graham, have testified in the case. Also, Balco mastermind Victor Conte Jr. has said in interviews with the Mercury News and others that he supplied Jones with performance-enhancing drugs. Jones repeatedly has denied all allegations.

Bonds attorney made an interesting comment on Wednesday:
``If this is phase three, why not indict Barry?'' Bonds' attorney Michael Rains said Thursday. ``The simple answer -- they need the testimony of Greg Anderson.''

The same has seemingly applied to Marion Jones: No witness testimony from Victor Conte. His plea bargain allowed for silence on his part when it came to any help he could have provided the authorities in their fact-finding against athletes, distributors, coaches, officials, agents, etc.

Patrick Arnold received the same condition in his plea agreement, which allowed him to not have to name names. However, he had the following to say:
"Track and field, especially the sprinters, they were more sophisticated in whom to seek out," he offers as a hint.
This is nothing but speculation, but quite interesting to be sure. But why on earth were Conte and Arnold, the masterminds behind BALCO, given this kind of free ride? Strange indeed.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Wish I could grow a goatee like that, though I wouldn't trade my hairline for hers.